Picking the Right Power Supply
Currently setting up your new gaming rig and is not certain on what power supply to pick? It is very important to match hardware compatibility in a way that it supports each other harmoniously. Picking the right power supply is sometimes a tricky task particularly to the novices in PC building. There are a few important points one should check when picking the right power supply. Below are the simple keys in picking the right power supply.
1 – Wattage
It is important to find the correct wattage for your build. You can do this by checking out the power draw of your build’s components in wattage. Check the maximum power draw of all components, add them all together for you to find out how much wattage is needed by the system. Once you got that figured you, add some headroom of around 50 to 100 watts. So for example you find your system’s components to draw around 400 watts on full load, grab a 450 or 500-watt power supply.
2 – 80 PLUS Certification
80 PLUS is the standard that measures power supply efficiency. 80 PLUS certifications are categorized into six namely White, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Titanium with Titanium having the highest efficiency. The chart below explains the efficiencies of the power supplies under each certification.
3 – Safety Standard Certification
Safety standard certifications are a norm in most countries which certifies that an electronic appliance passes safety standards to assure the citizens. Having this certification verifies that the power supply underwent rigorous testing to ensure it doesn’t cause damage to human and properties. Universal safety specifications include CE/CB/UL/TUV/FCC/CCC and others.
4 – Output Voltage Regulation
The power output of power supplies aren’t stable and it varies depending on the load drawn per rail. Hence, it is important that the variance is low and the acceptable ±5% but best to find one with lower than that. Significant voltage drop or increase can cause your hardware to malfunction which results to freezes, resets or even death of the hardware component.
5 – Ripples and Noises
Ripples occur when the synchronized composition of a type of input frequency and switching frequency overlapping on top of AC outputs. Noise on the other hand are high-frequency noises outside of ripples. Hence, it is important for a power supply to have low ripple and noise values. This is to mainly prevent the heating of electrolytic capacitors on top of the receiving hardware caused by too much ripples and noises.
6 – Size and Appearance
After all the necessary safety checks, you can now then go on picking the right power supply based on your size preferences and appearance. Building a PC gaming today as a hobby would also demand aesthetics wherein hardware of matching colors is desired or a particular form factor is used. Aside from the typical ATX power supplies, you can now find smaller power supplies under the small form factor or SFF category for those that want a small PC to save space or have a lightweight PC for easy transport. Some also offer modular cables which are more expensive but offer better cable management and aesthetics.
So that’s our simple guide on how to pick the right power supply. There are a lot of brands and models out there, best to read reviews before buying. Check out the best selling power supplies at Amazon and check out various reviews online.